Take in Saturday’s annular eclipse of the sun

Published 7:49 pm Wednesday, October 11, 2023

BROOKHAVEN — Soak up an astronomical event this weekend. 

The 2023 Annular eclipse is set to occur this weekend before the next one in April 2024. While it will not be a complete eclipse like in 2017, Mississippians should have a good view of the eclipse. 

October 14 will be the day for the annular eclipse. It will be visible for people across North, Central and South America. Southwest Mississippi will see a 60 to 70 percent blockage of the sun. The maximum eclipse will be at 11:54 a.m. Weather conditions will be sunny in Natchez, Brookhaven and Prentiss. Natchez will see the eclipse start at 11:17 a.m. and end at 1:40 p.m. with the maximum eclipse at 12:02 p.m. Hattiesburg will see the eclipse start at 11:20 a.m. with maximum eclipse at 12:06 p.m. and end at 1:44 p.m. 

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

NASA states an annular eclipse happens when the moon passes between the earth and the sun at the farthest point from earth. 

Safety tips

Be sure to take in the experience but practice eye safety. 

NASA reminds people a solar eclipse is never fully blocked out by the moon. It is not safe to look at the sun without specialized eye protection. One indirect way of watching an eclipse includes using a shoe box, aluminum foil and paper to reflect the sun and the moon’s shadow on it. 

“You can make your own eclipse projector using a cardboard box, a white sheet of paper, tape, scissors, and aluminum foil. With the Sun behind you, sunlight will stream through a pinhole punched into aluminum foil taped over a hole in one side of the box,” NASA wrote in an eclipse safety article. “During the partial phases of a solar eclipse, this will project a crescent Sun onto a white sheet of paper taped to the inside of the box. Look into the box through another hole cut into the box to see the projected image.”

Another good way to watch the eclipse is if you can find a puddle of water with a dark background to help limit the damaging light. 

Last solar eclipse for a while

A total eclipse will come on April 8, 2024. It will be the last visible total eclipse until 2044. Southwest Mississippi will likely have an 85 to 90 percent blockage of the sun according to NASA forecasts. 

We will provide an update on best viewing times and weather conditions for the April 2024 total eclipse. 

Let us know your plans and share any pictures or videos of your view of the eclipse by emailing news@dailyleader.com.